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Politics

BREAKING: IGP bans SARS, others from stop-and-search duties

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other tactical units from routine patrols.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, on Sunday, Adamu ordered FSAR personnel immediately to stop carrying out stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks.

The statement added that the IGP has also banned the Special Tactical Squad, Intelligence Response Team, Anti-Cultism Squad, and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal, and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols.

Adamu noted that no personnel of the Force is allowed to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti, adding all officers must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear.

The statement read in part, “The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under these guises to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure, Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.

“Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorised search of mobile phones, laptops, and other smart devices.

“They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.

“The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country.

“The IGP has equally warned, that henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and the FCT as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any misconduct within their Area of Responsibility.

“He, therefore, charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.”

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